“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
The Meiji Jingu Shrine is a great nature park if you're looking for a peaceful morning stroll with your friends. The park is home to temples and shrines that are the cornerstone of important Japanese traditions. When we went, we saw babies and recently married couples receive their blessings at the temples!
For 1 yen ($1 USD), you can shake a wooden box that spits out a wooden stick. The stick is labeled with a number that corresponds to a fortune. Mine read, "You can draw some profit from everything people say, even from those things that at first sound offensive. But for this, constant self-examination is required." I'll definitely keep this as food for thought during my trip!
For lunch, Shibuya hosts a myriad of seafood restaurants. I ordered a tuna bowl with a raw egg yolk on top, ikura (salmon roe), and fatty tuna. Each meal usually comes with soup, and today's had salmon and green onion. While raw egg might not be favorable to some people, I highly recommend trying it if you can get it fresh and high quality. The rich egg yolk mixed in with fresh tuna was one of the best bites I had in Japan!
Just in case I haven't mentioned it enough times in the blog already, I HAD to include another picture of my ikura, which are little jewels of absolute perfection! It looks like little Nemo's (so sorry) but honestly, they are so fresh and brimming with flavor. The quality of ikura in Japan has been unreal...I already miss it!
Want to see more on Japanese sushi? Click here for the first ikura I tried in Japan!
One mission we had while we were walking the streets of Japan was to find Peach Fanta! We were told there are only four vending machines in Tokyo with this special drink, so it was a slim chance that we would actually find it.
By some miracle, my friend happened to glance at one of the machines in Shibuya and we FREAKED OUT! It tasted so sweet and refreshing, and surprisingly like white peach! If you want to try this rare refreshment, go to the Shibuya Crossing and try to find it there. Good luck!
Walking through Shibuya Crossing with my belly full of Peach Fanta made me such a happy little bean. It's a chaotic part of Tokyo, but it's full of life and makes you feel like you're a part of the city.
There are people everywhere, and sometimes you'll come across some people who are trying to get you to come into their business. Be open minded to try some of their themed cafes! But, be careful that you're not being lead into a sketchy area.
We ended up going to Maidreamin Shibuya Cafe, where they said we were "their princesses" (lol)! It's a bit of a culture shock, but like I said be open minded to their "cute" tendencies because that's just part of their service. I ordered the green tea ice cream that was shaped like a turtle! Can you see it? It's a little hard to make out, but if you stare at him hard enough you'll find him. He's so cute!
Once we left the maid cafe, we strolled along the streets of Shibuya. If you look up, you'll see that the majority of the buildings have multiple floors, with each floor being a completely different store. Japan is a relatively small country, so the real estate goes up towards the sky (literally).
There are so many fun things to do in Japan, one of them being the arcades. If you have a Pasmo card (public transportation), many vending machines and arcade games take that as a form of payment. One touch of your card gets you three games, so you can share the experience with your friends. As you can tell from my face, I wasn't doing so hot (haha). But I had a great time nonetheless!
For dinner, we had ramen again! I ordered tonkatsu (pork bone) ramen with green onion, corn, bamboo shoots, chashu (pork), and nori (seaweed). After I took this picture I also took the liberty to add a healthy drizzle of chili oil to make it nice and spicy.
Once we had dinner, we headed to the Tokyo Tower. This is another one of Japan's most notable sites. It resembles the Eiffel Tower, but glows bright blue and orange. It's truly a magnificent site!
As the night went on, we decided to go to Shinjuku, which is where night life booms. It was really fun and kind of funny to see the contrast between the calm, quiet daytime, to the loud and bustling night life in Tokyo. For me, the over-stimulating lights that surrounded every corner was truly what I envisioned Japan to be!
Our last stop on this busy day was to enjoy some izakaya (Japanese bar food). I ordered the completely wrong size, so you could imagine how my night went. ;)
This day was indeed a busy one, but packed with some of the major sites we wanted to visit. By the end of it, my belly was so full and my soul was completely nourished. I mean, how could a girl not be satisfied after all this food?! Needless to say, walking around for miles and miles helps me justify all of this food intake...and that'll probably be how I'll justify all of my eating throughout this trip (haha).
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Until next time,